Military, Training

Prince Harry Qualifies as Apache Commander

By By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief | July 9, 2013
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Prince Harry (aka Capt. Harry Wales) is now qualified as a Boeing Apache aircraft commander, completing three years of training that has involved Conversion to Type (CTT) then Conversion to Role (CTR) courses.

Toward the end of his qualification, he was required to complete a six-hour qualification flight. This meant flying point-to-point around the UK from his base at Wattisham airfield, Suffolk in southern England up to Newcastle in the north east, across the country to Carlisle below the Scottish border, down western England then across country once more via Birmingham and back to his home base.

The prince had to plan and execute the sortie, navigate including flying through controlled airspace, and initiate a simulated low-level attack. Other diversions and emergencies were also added into the mission to test his ability (which is standard for all aircrew on this course).



Capt. Harry Wales, Apache Aircraft Commander. UK MoD


Prince Harry has been to Afghanistan twice, once with the British Army Air Corps. His first trip as a ground soldier in 2008 was cut short when one of the international media broke a confidentiality agreement and revealed he was at a support base in Helmand Province. During that tour it was reported that he had called in air support (a role similar to a Joint Tactical Air Controller – JTAC) which would have proven invaluable in his later helicopter training.

In October the same year, it was revealed that he would become a military helicopter pilot, flying the British Army Air Corps AgustaWestland WAH-64D Apache Longbow. This meant that he would follow the example laid down by his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew a Sea King helicopter in the Falklands conflict in 1982, his father Prince Charles who had flown Royal Navy Wessex helicopters, and his brother who is currently flying RAF UK Search and Rescue Sea King helicopters.

His second four-month tour began in September 2012 when he served as an Apache co-pilot/gunner. Soon after his arrival the Taliban announced that they would try and kill him, but he completed his tour and returned to the UK early the following year. He is qualified as a member of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, part of the British Army’s specialist 16 Air Assault Brigade. It was reported that he qualified ‘with ‘flying colors’” according to his Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue. It is the culmination of three years of training.

Related: Military Training News

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